BY BILL PHILLIPS
Dave Fuller is no stranger to political activities in Prince George.
He chaired the People’s Action Committee for Health Air which, leading up the 2008 municipal election, produced and published a report card rating candidates’ position on air quality. More recently he lobbied to have fluoride removed from the city’s water, which citizens chose to do so in a referendum.
Fuller is getting involved again. On Thursday he announced he will seeking a seat on city council this fall.
“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time,” he told a crowd of about 50 people gathered outside City Hall for the announcement. “I always admired what it took to be a city councillor and the energy that it took to listen to the people.”
Fuller has been involved in the community as a business owner for more than 30 years. He owned the Ave Maria health food store, selling it a number of years ago, and spends his time now working as a business coach.
He has three main areas he is going to campaign on. The first is people.
“The people of this community are so great,” he said. “I want to encourage the community to be more welcoming to outsiders as well as encourage the development of community right here in Prince George.”
The second, fittingly, is the environment.
“I think there’s some issues that we still need to work on,” he said. “(Such as) encouraging industry to step up to another level.”
He also pointed to an effluent plant at the bottom of College Heights as an example. He said the plant is stinking up the neighbourhood and that the city can do a better job of dealing with the smell.
“We can also get on board with reducing plastic waste going into the landfills,” he said. “We need to be a more progressive community, we’ve always been at the back of environmental issues.”
The third area Fuller is campaigning on the city’s finances.
“Looking at the financial statements of the city, there are some areas that could really use some financial oversight and ask some hard questions,” he said.
He pointed to transportation as an example where the budget increased from $28 million to $35 million in one year.
“People are complaining about bus service but costs have increases 25 per cent in the last year,” he said. “Taxpayers are stretched, especially seniors. I think we need to do a better job of really overseeing how we manage the money in the community.
He added people are concerned salaried employees at the city are getting paid overtime. The issue has surfaced over the past few weeks and the city has come under fire for increased wage costs, particularly for senior managers, and part of that increase came from them working overtime during the 2017 wildfires.
“Taxpayers are paying for salaried employees to take overtime,” he said. “That’s a big issue for people and it’s something that, if I get in, I’m definitely going to take a look at.”
His ongoing experience as a business coach, he says, will bring an expertise to the council table that can, hopefully, help deal with these issues.
“Businesses hire me as a business coach for two reasons … for oversight, to come in a look at their business as an outsider and say ‘hey what are the best practices,’ and ‘how can we make this business function better, and the other area is accountability … to keep them accountable and how to make their staff accountable to move their businesses forward,” he said. “This is what I want to bring to city council.
“I’m not afraid to ask tough questions. I’m not afraid to get into the details. I’m not afraid to stick my neck out. My heart is really about helping people, my passion is to help people. In this role my passion to work for the people of Prince George.”
Prince George residents go to the polls October 20 and so far incumbents Murry Krause, Brian Skakun, Susan Scott, Terri McConnachie, Frank Everitt and Garth Frizzell indicated they will be seeking re-election. Albert Koehler and Jillian Merrick will not be seeking re-election.